- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 4, 2011

FLORIDA

Forecasters watch as Katia strengthens

MIAMI The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Katia has strengthened to a Category 2 storm in the open Atlantic.

No watches or warnings were in effect late Sunday, and it was too soon to know whether the storm would threaten land. Forecasters warned that Bermuda could begin seeing strong surf and rip currents this week.

At 5 p.m. EDT Sunday, the storm’s center was about 365 miles northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and moving northwest at 12 mph. It had sustained maximum winds that increased to 105 mph after wavering in the morning between a tropical storm and weak hurricane status.

Forecasters expect Katia to strengthen further and said it could be a major hurricane by Monday.

GEORGIA

New swine-flu strain infects 2 children

ATLANTA | Health officials say a novel strain of swine flu has sickened two children in Pennsylvania and Indiana.

One had contact with pigs. The other is thought to have been infected by a caregiver who had contact with pigs, suggesting the virus can spread person-to-person.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus contains a gene from the H1N1 swine flu that caused a worldwide scare two years ago, plus parts of other viruses that have infected pigs over the past decade.

The children were infected in July and August and have recovered. Both received flu shots last year.

Officials are investigating other reports of illness in people who attended an agricultural fair in Pennsylvania. No additional cases have been confirmed.

HAWAII

Battleship Missouri marks end of WWII anniversary

PEARL HARBOR | About 20 World War II veterans gathered aboard the battleship Missouri in Pearl Harbor to mark the 66th year since the end of World War II.

The USS Missouri was anchored in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, when it hosted Japanese leaders who signed surrender documents formally ending the war. The vessel has been decommissioned and is now a museum called the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

On Friday, some 300 people, including the veterans and active-duty sailors, Marines, airmen and soldiers, observed the anniversary of the end of the war with a ceremony on the vessel’s teak deck.

The battleship has been moored in Pearl Harbor for the past decade. It overlooks the spot where the USS Arizona sank during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

NEW YORK

Mayor defends handling of deputy’s resignation

NEW YORK | A deputy mayor arrested on a domestic violence charge in July would have been fired if he hadn’t offered to resign days later, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Sunday.

“It became obvious that he couldn’t work for the city, and I immediately made sure that he no longer did,” Mr. Bloomberg said in his first comments about Stephen Goldsmith, who, it was revealed Thursday, left his position a few days after he was arrested July 30 in Washington.

A police report said he had shoved and grabbed his wife. Both later disputed the account; prosecutors are not pursuing charges. Last month, Mr. Bloomberg said only that the deputy mayor for operations was “leaving to pursue private-sector opportunities.”

Mr. Bloomberg, who has come under criticism from other city officials over that announcement, offered no apology Sunday, saying his earlier words were “accurate.” But he said he didn’t divulge the real reason because he didn’t want to “bring more suffering” to the Goldsmith family.

The two men met the day after the arrest, and Mr. Goldsmith offered his resignation, Mr. Bloomberg told reporters. Had he not, “I would have terminated him,” the mayor said.

OHIO

No pardon for mother for lying to school district

COLUMBUS | The Ohio Parole Board on Friday recommended that the governor not pardon a woman who was jailed for using her father’s address to enroll her children in a neighboring school district.

Kelley Williams-Bolar, of Akron, served nine days in jail this year for falsifying information on records that she used to send her daughters to a school outside the city. She said her conviction for felony records tampering threatens her efforts to earn her teacher’s license.

The board said Ms. Williams-Bolar could have solved her schooling situation legitimately and was dishonest before and after her conviction.

The board also rejected Ms. Williams-Bolar’s arguments that her conviction harmed her plans, noting that she has hardly made the efforts necessary to obtain a degree to teach.

TEXAS

Website shuts down after apparent hacking

HOUSTON | The head of a Texas law enforcement group whose website apparently was taken over by hackers said Friday that the association has taken down the site to evaluate its security.

The group known as Anonymous appeared to take over the website address of the Texas Police Chiefs Association on Thursday, replacing its home page with one listing more than two dozen law enforcement officials whose personal or work email accounts Anonymous said had been hacked.

James McLaughlin, the association’s executive director, said the group took its website offline late Thursday night. He said some of those listed were association members and others weren’t. He said their website is password-protected for members, but even then lists only names and contact information.

FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap said the agency is aware of the incident but doesn’t confirm or deny investigations.

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